SNP or Independence?

Readers are forgiven for thinking the title a contradiction. After all, the SNP is the party of independence. Unfortunately, just as a mule is a breed of workhorse but not a Clydesdale, saying you are utterly dedicated to regaining Scotland’s liberty is not the same as saying you will make it happen.

An unaccountable party

The SNP hierarchy has ‘acquired’ powers never given to them by voters. They choose not to fulfil their manifesto, they choose to adopt a gradualist approach to autonomy, to block candidates they feel do not respect some of their policies, to use subscriptions to save the skin of miscreant colleagues, and to smear private citizens they feel are asking awkward questions. Protests are dismissed, citizens held in contempt, addressing the electorate as ‘conspiracy theorists’. The people have become the problem.

One can choose from a long list of issues that undermine confidence of an SNP-led victory for Scotland’s rights. They add up to the view the SNP top officials feel it won’t happen in their tenure of office. Faced by an obdurate Tory party in power with an 80 majority, a party so brazenly right-wing it refuses to feed hungry children, the SNP feels free to look to other goals easier to obtain than the protection of Scotland’s citizens.

For my part, I cannot see how any informed person can vote for the SNP as presently constituted, not while it labours under its present amoral hierarchy, with an NEC that is keener on power than people. This is a party desperately out of touch with its ideals.

When you add it all up, you are left with a top layer of a very tired party hell bent on protecting it’s power and entitlement and not the people who elected it. It makes for depressing reading, but facts that should be faced.

The Gold Standard

The ‘Gold Standard’ is a slogan conjured out of thin air, nick-named with a vacuous catch-all meaning of the type we usually hear repeated endlessly by the white supremacist Tories, a catchphrase as stupefying as ‘the SNP is not Scotland’. The ‘Gold Standard’ is Nicola Sturgeon’s one-note illusory path to Palookaville.

There are many ways to regain autonomy. One is a sustained clamour for it that the international community cannot ignore. Who advised Nicola Sturgeon to buy a cheap day-return to independence and back? That she holds tight to her shibboleth as if the Ark of the Covenant, is defeatist, wildly misguided, unskillful management.

If Scotland’s rights are gutted like a herring by Westminster, her time as First Minister, her ‘Gold Standard’, her gradualism, her two-year pursuit to reverse Brexit, her entire accomplishments, and they are many, will be as nothing to her political fate.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and the excuses

Almost any excuse is good enough for the SNP not to inform the populace of impending repressive, totalitarian Tory policies, some already in motion, imposed by stealth and openly by Westminster Bill. Independence is relegated to yesteryear.

The list of cynical get-out clauses reads like an insurance company’s small print.

Here is the litany of excuses to delay moving on independence: 51% for Yes not enough; respecting the anti-democratic mantra ‘now is not the time’; waiting for withdrawal of Scotland’s major parliamentary powers to see what has been removed; waiting for Brexit to be implemented; 53% for a Yes vote not enough; waiting to see who is elected leader of the Tory party; waiting until implementation of a No Deal Brexit is signed; waiting to discover Boris’s attitude to a referendum; 55% for a Yes vote not enough; waiting to see exactly what deadheads and rejects do settled in their Edinburgh office, to govern Scotland over the head of its parliament; ignoring Tory a warning they will remove a chunk of Scotland’s Barnett Formula and – pork barrel fashion, distribute it among Tory councils; 58% for a Yes vote not enough. And tomorrow – 60% for a Yes vote probably still not enough – ad infinitum.

And all that well before the Covid-19 pandemic took over as Grim Reaper.

Counter to the myth, Nicola Sturgeon did ask Downing Street for a second referendum endorsed by the UK government, a request easily waved aside by Theresa May and by Boris Johnson, as easily as a Georgian fop would waft aside a vagrant with a single flip of his hand, handkerchief held tight over his powdered nose.

No one noticed that in asking for another plebiscite Sturgeon signalled she believes a vote can be won. Therefore, excuses given subsequently for delay are antithetical.

Non-impartial civil servants

So far, in the ignominious rush to put Salmond on trial, a third time fronted by BBC Scotland with an outrageously inflammatory documentary, the key civil servants, and significantly, Nicola Sturgeon herself, all under oath, have apologised to the Holyrood committee for statements they made now seen on hindsight as erroneous.

Each forgot, overlooked, misspoke, or didn’t check with their personal secretary, about a critically important facet of their involvement in the scandal. This is the same SNP that ejects individual supporters for a misplaced comma or an iffy sentence in an essay.

Nicola Sturgeon prides herself for having a first class legal mind, yet we are asked to accept that her customary astuteness let her down. She did not see the repercussions guaranteed to cause mayhem by endorsing insidious retroactive rules, rules composed by harpies on horseback with questionable track records in past jobs.

The civil servants were certain to be spurred on by the Calvinist righteousness of their cause, but ought to have been cautioned and curbed before they got out of the paddock.

Was Nicola Sturgeon not aware her top civil servants were chivvying witnesses, some unwilling to take part in a group assassination? Did she not survey the accusations and see how many were concocted, superficial and vexatious? If not a fine legal mind, then surely a sloppy and unprofessional attitude, contemptuous of human rights.

The Murrells

For an enterprising married couple to run a small commercial business, a shop, a mail order firm, a farm, one the buyer, the other the treasurer, is an everyday occurrence. For a married couple, one running a nation and the other running the party running the nation, that is highly irregular, unhealthy, and downright unethical.

We are told they never cross talk. Of course a couple will discuss the day’s events when at home. Of course they will discuss individuals they want promoted and those they feel problematic. Of course they will have a good old nag about somebody who got on their wick. Assuredly, one will support the other when criticised or attacked, or in a fix of their own making. That is marriage the world over.

That’s the loyalty we expect husband and wife to practice, especially when both are successful in their chosen vocation. Here I am discussing the vehicle for independence.  Here we are assessing a nation’s future, not a wee corner shop in a village. Scotland is not Argentina (Juan and Eva Peron), or Rumania (Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu), or the United States of America (the Trump dynasty). The debate here is uncomplicated, did Peter Murrell exceed his authority, and what he admits to doing, is it illegal?

Peter Murrell ought to be automatically disqualified to chair a party of government while his wife presides over a nation’s destiny. His position is dishonourable. It places him in difficult, unpleasant, and embarrassing situations. Murrell’s real role should be to commiserate about the bad day his wife had at First Minister’s Question Time, pour her a gin and tonic, and run a bath sprinkled with scented salts to ease her stress.

You are left with the nagging question, who is running Scotland? Is it the will of the sovereign people, the Murrells, or a bunch of unscrupulous civil servants? A ‘better future’, justice, honesty, integrity and  liberty, begins with the people taking us there.

Referendum fighting fund

Some years back, Edinburgh University arranged a London auction to sell off valuable artwork in their care. The collection was a bequest, given to the University to protect and exhibit, on behalf of the people of Scotland. The University authorities argued a gift is their possession. They were taken to court by concerned citizens, the auction halted with several thousands of pounds of auction catalogues printed and distributed.

The University was humiliated in court and cancelled the auction. The SNP’s missing money ear-marked, actually sold to the public by the SNP as ‘ring-fenced’ for a second referendum, does not appear on the annual accounts. The party Treasurer says it is there on the page, just not identified. He treats it like a game of ‘Where’s Wally?’.

Following the same principle as the bequest to Edinburgh University, the Referendum Fund is decidedly not the institution’s to do with as it pleases. Funds solicited for a specific purpose must remain untouched until required for that purpose.

And in the same annual accounts, a cursory glance shows up an alarming increase in the party’s legal fees. The blunders they make cost them dear. The party has been sued successfully a few times. There are two ways to view an experienced politician who advocates caution as a policy, and then insults another political party to the extent they sue for slander successfully. Is the individual inept or an opposition’s stooge denuding their party of funds? Why bail them out with party funds?

Looking at the bald financial figures made public, mysteriously delayed many times, it is obvious the SNP is in a very weak financial position to fight itself out of a paper bag. Perhaps this is a reason for a one-route only is sold to us as a sure fire delaying tactic.

Eyes Wide Shut

‘You shouldn’t brag that some of our greatest adversaries think that they’d be better off with you still in office! Of course they do! What does that say about you?!’ said Barack Obama about Donald Trump. I thought his remark apt applied to where we are now with Nicola Sturgeon as leader.

One day she is lampooned mercilessly for the brand of coffee maker she keeps in her kitchen, the next praised by the right-wing press as the saviour of Scotland facing a killer pandemic. When your most implacable enemy suddenly says you are the greatest thing since vegetarian haggis, run for cover!

I don’t care to analyse if she duplicates England’s pandemic rules and schedule, or has gone her own way. For my part, she communicates a strategy to outwit coronavirus exceptionally well, honest, uncomplicated, with a sense of urgency and responsibility her opposite number in Downing Street cannot muster. Unless discovered to have conspired in the Salmond scandal, she has a role fronting the pandemic for a while yet.

What concerns me is her lack of statesmanship and political guile at a most dangerous time in Scotland’s history. Those qualities are wholly absent. The Tories are coming, and they are not bearing gifts.

What now?

People must take the wool from their eyes; too many things are going wrong, a series of belly flops, prat falls, gaffes, policy over-sights, blaming the people, and too many scores being settled on dissenters by a party that has lost its passion and mettle. In panic, officials block debate, narrowing discussion to a few items they can control. This is the law of the mentally bankrupt. Nicola Sturgeon should step back to allow the better equipped, intellectually and strategically, to handle independence.

The Law of Averages tells us, with so many SNP politicians and members leaving the party, at least some surely think we are going backwards. They see hope crushed.

I see a tired and jaded party lost for ideas, bereft of political imagination, shooting its supporters and beating its best brains to a pulp. Just as our enemies fall back on old slogans, our own repeat the same expressions of outrage. We have heard it all before.

We need new leadership. We have need of fresh impetus. In this, the electorate is well ahead of the Scottish Government. If only eloquent, well-informed people were ready to take their place, such as Duncan Hamilton QC, we will have potential leaders in waiting.

The current top level of the SNP ought to be very worried, and if they are not, resign.

**************************************************

NOTE:

If you have eight minutes to spare, you won’t waste it watching Duncan Hamilton QC, eviscerate Old Colonial Men in a debate, demonstrating what is missing from the chamber in our Parliament: https://youtu.be/KxS3RjilBzg

FURTHER READING: ‘An SNP in Disarray’: https://wp.me/p4fd9j-ouY

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35 Responses to SNP or Independence?

  1. Derek Cameron says:

    Thank you for this cool diagnosis of the malady that afflicts the independence vehicle. A lot more than running repairs are required. The people at the top of the SNP have trashed our
    inherent sovereign right to self determination.In their gradualism they seem willing to ignore the confluence of unrepeatable events which make it imperative that we make the leap now or perish in the attempt.
    By their adherence to the “gold standard ” anathema to the inalienable right to self determination they reinforce and endorse England’s hegemony over us.
    After this and the two devastating Wings posts yesterday the SNP will get my vote for now but no longer will they get my subs to squander on made up jobs for their pals and lawyers fees.

  2. Mairianna Clyde says:

    What exactly is the role of the CEO of the SNP? (Murrell). What does the party constitution say? In most businesses the CEO looks after the money side and advises on that, it is a management role, but is answerable to a Board on policy. Murrell apparently taking and active and free hand in pursuing Salmond is political and to my mind steps beyond a CEO role. Surely the SNP constitution must define what this role is? Is Murrell exceeding his constitutional powers? If so, he should be brought to book. If not, time to change the party constitution.

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    Ordinary members of the public, Marianne, aware Murrell exists, ask that same question.

  4. Mairianna Clyde says:

    Let’s be legally forensic about this. Murrell, as a private citizen, is entitled to express the view in a private conversation that he thinks Salmond should get the jail for what he’s done. It’s what he does after this to bring this about that might constitute exceeding his powers. The context of that What’sApp conversation is important. Was it party business? Or was it just a blether? It seems to me that political parties have legally limited powers in dealing with troublesome members. They can give them a talking to and warning, suspend them (as Labour is currently doing to Corbyn) or expel them. But that’s it. Was Salmond actually a member of the SNP at the time of that conversation? I thought he had resigned when the allegations first came up and he took the SG to court over their handling of the allegations.

  5. Saor Alba says:

    Well said, I thought I was a lone voice in a great hull full of people.
    My votes in May will be for Scotland, if at the SNP conference Nicola doesn’t have alternative route to Independence other than a section 30 order then I’ll vote for what ever party is looking after my Country’s best interest, enough is enough.

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    Blocking the discussion of ideas is the last straw. They have narrowed the debate to that which they wish to control.

  7. The frustration and angst is so tangible.

    The political vehicle for Indy seems to have taken on a fair bit of wear and tear on its journey and definitely needs a good overhaul. But we do need to keep that vehicle running and get it over the finishing line. Murrell should have done the honourable and resigned his position when NS became First Minister even if he had been the best at his job, it does not look good.

    The shenanigans regarding The AS Stitch Up still has not been exposed the truth. For fairness and justice to have been done, that truth has to be exposed warts and all. There is no doubt, that machinations in the Civil Service are seemingly for most part responsible. Yet, their evidence is restricted to that on Ministers and not on their own personal pursuits and also claiming mum on certain aspects on account of legal protections. Which is a declaration to NO truth and nothing but masquerading, rather than the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In short, a wild goose chase.

    As for the ring fenced monies. They were NOT a gift to the SNP. By accounting standards, those are not monies in to the party. Therefore if they are to be entered into the balance sheet, they would have to be declared elsewhere. Also, keeping those monies safe would have meant those monies would have to be stashed very carefully. They are NOT assets either. But they would have to be declared somewhere.

    Like yourself I cannot fathom why Independence is practically never addressed in such critical times. Deeply frustrated. I suppose I am one of the few that still retain hope that there is a plan in action. I cannot understand that a party claiming independence would sit still while the thieves from the South are positioning themselves for a complete plundering of our great nation. Are they being deceptive and have all the traps ready to foil the intruders? Here we are hiding behind the closet doors feeling powerless.

    If there is an election in May, and these thieves have been successful, there is ONLY one guarantee, and that is, there will be no SNP and instead, Scotland the county/region will be the status quo. We should NOT be hiding in the closets. We should be getting ready and equipped to getting Indy done asap.

  8. Saor Alba says:

    Grouse Beater you say “Blocking the discussion of ideas is the last straw. They have narrowed the debate to that which they wish to control.”. This is exactly what communist states do. I want the SNP to be honest is their party to govern Scotland or is it Independence because it seems to me the SNP are more interested in governing than Independence that’s fine then tell the electorate then allow an other party obtain the Independence vote so the people can decide for themselves what they do want, because I’m furious that at every single election the SNP run on the ticket of Independence when all they want to do is govern.

    The Scots who want Independence are trapped in the Section 30 process and there is no way out and to be perfectly honest it suites the SNP leadership as it looks like the bad guy is the UK government when in actual fact its the SNP who’s blocking our right to be a nation again.

  9. bettyboop says:

    There is little to be argued about in this article, sadly. Thank you for reminding me about Duncan Hamilton’s debate at Glasgow Uni. I have enjoyed watching it several times in the past few years and it was definitely needed this morning. We need such people to stir us up.

  10. Grouse Beater says:

    I wanted to end on a high note, and Hamilton’s tirade is a terrific reminder of what we need now.

  11. Midgehunter says:

    I’d been pondering about who could lead a new alternative to the SNP.

    The start-ups like ISP may have their heart in the right place but are nowhere near having the charisma which attracts people in droves to the party and stirs the excitment of hope.
    AS and the Rev Stu do possess bucketfulls of charisma but are also very polarising in their style of action.
    An ISP-AS-Rev Stu party would be a huge step forward as an integrated entity but they would IMO still need a very popular, no nonsense front-man who gets on with the job of blowing the trumpet with the YES movement and media.

    I’d forgotten about D Hamilton, but by God that would be a fantastic man to head up such a party.
    Fit in Johanna C, Phillipa W and some of the other good ones and you’ve got the makings of truely great alternative to the SNP, with a huge magnetic attraction for the folk in general.

  12. ndls61 says:

    Hard truths are never easy to hear. You deserve credit for blazing a trail Gareth, particularly in view of your shameful treatment at the hands of the very folk who must be held chiefly responsible for the party’s current travails. If anyone had told me in the heady days of 2015 after the SNP’s election that we would be where we are today I’d have laughed at them.

    However, it is increasingly obvious that the SNP is no longer fit purpose. Those who agree can either hold their noses and continue to support the party and lend it their votes, or they can do something else instead. I can no longer bring myself to vote for them at all in good conscience. If there is no other more convincing alternative in May 2021 I will vote ISP on the list and spoil my constituency vote.

    I saw someone quoting the tennis player Arthur Ashe the other day:

    “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

    As I no longer have any faith in the SNP delivering on its raison d’être, I fear that we have to start with a new party, using the resources we have of those folk scunnered with the leadership’s direction of travel, doing what they can to build something better. We need and deserve a party, truly dedicated to independence, led by those who accept that the Scots people are sovereign and that we do not require anyone’s permission.

    The new party shouldn’t be limiting itself to standing only on the list at Holyrood either: it should specifically challenge the SNP in constituency seats too. I would actually prefer the current leadership not to have a majority at Holyrood: they have neither earned the right to it, nor can they be trusted to use it. It may be too late for May 2021 of course, but since SNP gradualism won’t deliver a referendum this decade anyway, we may as well begin laying the groundwork now.

    We can no longer afford for the independence movement as a whole to be directed by the bunch of etiolated, institutionally corrupt devolutionists and science denying gender extremists who currently hold sway.

  13. Grouse Beater says:

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    To boost the SNP’s confidence to the extent they are given another five years, allowing the British state to emasculate Scotland, is folly.

  14. Robert T says:

    Thank you for this post Gareth it is the unvarnished truth , but unfortunately we still have many voices (too many) willing to give NS another chance and Deluding themselves that it is other dark forces at play, the evidence is there for them to see but still they refuse to look and digest, instead they blame the truthseekers and exposers by accusing them of threatening our independence
    I for one and there are many like me will NOT be BLACKMAILED into voting for a corrupt , venal , amoral clique of LIARS , science deniers and charlatans, we already have that with WM

  15. Grouse Beater says:

    I try to write as honestly as I can, and what I am not sure about, avoid. The SNP has found the perfect excuse in the pandemic to do nothing much about furthering the cause of self-reliance. The illness lies in allowing Woke individuals who seem to hate humankind, to take over. With determination, we might see sense prevail, and perhaps people like me receive an apology.

  16. Hugh Wallace says:

    Well said.

    For the first time since I was 18 & old enough to vote (getting to be a distant memory) I genuinely don’t know who I can (bring myself to) vote for or if I’m even going to vote.

    And I am someone who has previously stated that voting in elections should be mandatory (though I think there should be a ‘none of the above’ option on every ballot paper & if that should win then a re-election should be called with none of the previous candidates in the ballot paper).

  17. theisolatingtimes says:

    And how do you think we would get to independence without the SNP? In the midst of a pandemic? In which Nicola Sturgeon has managed to convince a number of No voters that she in a safe pair of hands? It’s not the long-term yes supporters who need to be convinced, it’s those who were too hesitant before. With someone like “wings over Scotland”, I doubt it.

    The Yes movement will self-combust before we get there, or end up with a tragic civil war like Ireland. This is not the time for in-fighting and biting.

    Sorry Gareth, maybe some of these issues should be looked at but they aren’t what will get us over the line. And not now.

    Best wishes Lorraine

    Lorraine Fannin

  18. scotsmanic0803 says:

    Let’s face it, Wee Nicola hasn’t got a clue aboot the real world. She’s a dreamy wee political idealist gone adrift. One of her first and only jobs after she qualified as a solicitor was working at the Drumchapel Law Centre, a charity. People do not end up in jobs by accident. She has tried to remake Scotland according to her youthful political ideas and (sighing) it has not worked. She is now trying to jam this student politics crap down our throats. I am not saying this in satire, or to be vicious, but some people who do not have children never grow up. The demarcation line between being young and parenthood is massive. Ms. Sturgeon is an adolescent who never grew up. Her America-extremism-obsessed youthful idealism is destroying this country, and she would be better off far away from politics reading shite intersectionalism-obsessed novels than trying to force us into living in her own confused, angry, vengeful, Orwellian dystopian Hell. The whole thing is tragic. And disgusting.

  19. steelewires says:

    Thanks, Gareth! You add to a growing chorus of bloggers who want action, instead of whining and grandstanding.

    I quit the SNP because of their treatment of you. Their discipline committee acted as a gestapo. Your writing was clearly not anti-Semitic. So, I decided that I would not be a member of a party with a gestapo like committee ejecting members on an ill-considered excuse. It looks like the Party leadership has further developed its gestapo-like attitude and skills.

    Craig Murray had an ad in the National yesterday, offering to stand to be President of the SNP and to get it to act for independence. Craig is a man of stature who deserves our confidence. I wonder if he might be more effective as the voice and face of a new and real independence party.

  20. Craig Murray says:

    Marianna Clyde

    You are absolutely right. The context is that it was a text from Peter Murrell, Chief Executive of the SNP, to SUe Ruddick, Chief Operating Officer of the SNP, instructing her to put pressure on Polce Scotland to take further action against Alex Salmond. A further message on pursuing complaints put to the Metropolitan Police.

  21. Grouse Beater says:

    Steelwires – On reflection, my ‘error’ was to place a photograph of Wolfson as the essay heading, which gave the nasty elements of the GMB an excuse to promote scurrilous fabrication. She doesn’t appear in the polemic until much later, the aim of the article, an attack on GMB neo-fascist tactics. I altered the photograph when only 30 people had read the article and three complained, but my opponents had already copied it.

    I am happy to say, the GMB was condemned recently for its gross misogyny and ethos of sexual harassment, in a QC-led legal report, the top man who screamed abuse at me while admitting he had not read the work, is now discredited and has resigned.

    If you wait long enough, you get revenge.

    Finally, I add how grateful I am to you and all the others who saw the injustice and let their principles guide them. It was a great comfort, the response of the SNP a travesty of good faith.

  22. ndls61 says:

    @Gareth 9.36am

    Well said. One of the few silver linings in your story is that I now find it’s easy to judge people’s intent and worth by where they stand on your treatment. Those who support the party’s actions are beyond the pale. We see them.

    Your defenestration was the canary in the coal mine for many of us: unpleasant as it was – and is – for you, it opened many people’s eyes to the principle void at the heart of the NEC and party leadership. This is now abundantly clear.

    I hope we get an opportunity to meet up for celebratory dram at some point, pandemic permitting?

    As I’m no longer on twitter the only place you might realistically find me in on LinkedIn if you use it?

  23. Grouse Beater says:

    Hello Lorraine

    Either we the people are sovereign or we are not.

    The Declaration does not state our politicians are sovereign. The clamour of a nation achieves liberty, usually led by a single figurehead. Nicola has other plans. Her offer to the Tories to make concessions if given a part in Brexit talks confirmed her as a federalist, which in turn, is the SNP’s current tactics – called gradualism.

    Did you vote for ‘gradualism’? I didn’t.

    In any event, I do not advocate disbanding the SNP. I point out it has grown timid and bankrupt of ideas; it requires new blood as soon as possible. I believe that is on its way. If it fails, the SNP will fail us.

    On the other hand, if they are not protecting us from the onslaught of Tory neo-fascism, we will need new indy parties.

    I hope you watched the Duncan Hamilton video link at the end of the essay – that’s what my polemic is getting at. His attitude and confidence is missing from a tired leadership.

    And you, of anybody, should know, ‘Wheest for Indy’ is a nonsense, anti-democratic; it means carrying around a lot of Duct Tape.

    A confident political party welcomes dissent that is asking for better effort, but we have reached a stage where the SNP (not the rank and file whom the leadership ignore), think we, the people, are the problem.

    My attitude to politicians given the task to secure their nation’s birthright is uncomplicated and pretty ruthless. We elect representatives to fulfil a sacred goal. If they veer from that goal, time for fresh talent.

  24. diabloandco says:

    Depressed by the truth , fed up and sickened.

    Could you write an uplifting one again about an unsung Scots hero – I’m desperately in need for on all sides the view is bleak.

  25. duncanio says:

    “When your most implacable enemy suddenly says you are the greatest thing since vegetarian haggis, run for cover!”

    Absolutely!

    I have lost count of the number of times good intentioned and well meaning friends of mine from England – that’s not their fault! – have said how they wish they could vote for someone like Nicola and how they would like her to stand SNP candidates across the UK in a General Election. And guess what? They are all to a person Unionists and believe that the Union is more or less a force for good.

    If you are annoying your greatest foe you must be doing something right, so keep doing it.

    If they start to warm towards you, it’s time to look in the mirror and see if you still recognise yourself.

    And when there is no reflection, start changing everything you do and/or the way you are doing it.

  26. Grouse Beater says:

    Diablo – just watch Duncan Hamilton’s debate, linked at the end of the essay. it will pick you up no end.

  27. duncanio says:

    Duncan Hamilton for First Minister!

  28. Grouse Beater says:

    You bet, Duncan! (And he’s still on the scene….)

  29. Grouse Beater says:

    ndls61 at 09.45 says: “I hope we get an opportunity to meet up for celebratory dram at some point, pandemic permitting?”

    I don’t use anything but Twitter, and as you know, even that risks name, address and inside leg measurement forwarded to ad companies! But yes, fate notwithstanding – and currently Fate is at my back and will not let go – I hope we meet.

    Meanwhile, as compensation, and probably a sly move to furnish posterity with a talking picture, that clever filmmaker, Phantom Power, managed to lure me out of my coyness to speak before his camera. He tells me it will be aired later this month. Time to hide again.

  30. helentyates says:

    That’s a really good article Grouse and one no one could disagree with.

    Sadly, it’s a terrible situation we find ourselves in when we know to save the party we have relied on for so long to deliver independence. We have to ensure that party is reformed from the top down, we badly need people like Duncan Hamilton speaking for us now.

    We had many such voices in the run up to the referendum, we must have their voices heard again. I won’t vote for the current set up in 2021. My only hope now is that circumstances are going to change drastically by the end of the year, at least if there is any justice in Scotland this should be the case.

    One bright spot on the horizon is the new Indy group being set up under AUOB, some good people getting on board with that, I believe we’re at a stage where we the movement must take back control of the process, we must not allow these rogues within to destroy Scotland right to self governance.

  31. Grouse Beater says:

    I can see there is already a strong move for reform before the next election. If it doesn’t succeed, we will be faced with an SNP corrupted and no independence. I am sorry the blind faithful won’t face the reality, and won’t face the consequences.

  32. diabloandco says:

    Thanks for reminding me of that debate – I am fair cheered up and will add it to favourites to be revisited when dark clouds loom.

    One of the good things about it is that it is a real debate unlike those billed as such by the media but which are really folk making doubtful statements which are allowed to go unchallenged.

  33. Grouse Beater says:

    Had a few folk express anxiety – mostly on Twitter – implying my polemic has the power to topple the Scottish government and turn Scotland into a land of turmoil and chaos – but there’s many another saying it, and many before them, including SNP grandees. You should read Kevin McKenna’s shaft of arrows at Humza Yousef’s anti-free speech Bill. McKenna feels an endorsement of it is the end of the SNP as a choice for governance.

    We are losing the democracy we thought we were about to secure.

  34. Terence Callachan says:

    I don’t agree with you Grousebeater .
    You provide information that is based on your opinion of what you think is happening inside the higher echelons of the SNP.
    You castigate NS for her actions around AS trial but again it’s supported by your opinion and lacking in fact.
    NS doesn’t decide who gets charged and what comes to court that is a fact.
    Her husbands involvement in SNP is unusual but if it were illegal or if he were breaking rules I’m certain it would be headlined by those who hate him , her , Scotland , Scottish independence.

    Sadly I think you have fallen into the same trap as WOS a trap set for you by England’s Westminster.
    The SNP plan you say is currently being played out would be a stupid plan that would run out of time you can’t claim to support Scottish independence whilst having no intention of going for it such a plan would get a couple of years at most before it fell through , to claim that the covid19 pandemic saved them just at the right time is totally stupid and not worth consideration it’s obvious that if this pandemic had not arrived we would be right in the middle of the Scottish independence campaign and approaching another Scottish independence referendum doubting that falls into the Westminster trap of throwing doubt on Scotland’s ability to choose its own future and the SNP,s ability to arrange a referendum and the Scottish people’s strength to carry it through.

    At a crucial time you and others including WOS feed division into the Scottish independence claim of right , it’s despicable , founded on opinion of what you “THINK” SNP have planned , like a goose flying in formation breaking away from the group and forgetting to come back in line with the groups new direction as it alters course you forget that it’s the group that is strong , not the individuals ,it’s not too late to get back in line , but you have to trust the group , if we fail we fail together , if you go off on your own journey you will be lost , the group will not follow you.
    The group is following the SNP that is certain you see it in the polls this is not the time for insider dealings splitting the group , together we go forward as one nation not all in agreement in all things but together in our fight for independence .

  35. Grouse Beater says:

    Your diatribe is fatally shallow for any number of discreditable reasons, not the least of which you choose to ignore my history of support for independence and the SNP. That is not an honest way to express your opinion.

    Secondly, you idea of justice is seriously warped. If you think we should be led to a new Scotland by a party whose inner core is corrupted, you are asking people to accept all we will get is an old Scotland. Shame on you. The courts have stated emphatically our leadership is off the rails, to put it mildly.

    What you have written to defame my work is merely a long-winded version of ‘Wheest for Indy’. I am damned if I will allow a new Scotland to be sponsored by Duct Tape.

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